The formula for political endurance
With her ERC Consolidator Grant for the project "SUCCESS", Professor Ragnhild Muriaas will shed light on what makes women leave politics faster than men, and what makes them stay. With the project, she will launch a completely new way of understanding gender balance in politics.
“What if there are institutional and strategic reasons why women disappear from politics faster than men? Men more often stay, while women seem to walk right into a revolving door”, says Ragnhild Muriaas.
The professor in Political Science within the sub- field of comparative politics and representation at the University of Bergen, Norway, has now been granted the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant
Understanding gender balance in politics
«I am launching a new way of understanding gender balance in politics. It is insufficient to count the number of men and women in politics, as the gender balance is not real when people with longer experience are men, whilst all the women are political recruits. Experience and endurance are key factors in gender balance», she says.
Muriaas is one of in total eight researchers in Norway receiving the Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2021. The €2 million grant gives her the means to build up a research group over a five-year period on the topic "success factors for political endurance”. The project is suitably named SUCCESS, as the focus is on the factors leading to success rather than the excluding factors in politics.
Political endurance is key
To allow politicians to represent their voters effectively time is most often needed. When designing policies for issues such as pandemic preparedness, climate change, migration, and global security, it is necessary to have experience to gain an impact. Who endures in politics is therefore key to who makes political impact.
"What if there are institutional and strategic reasons that make women disappear from politics faster than men? Men more often stay while women seem to walk straight into a revolving door," Muriaas explains.
Muriaas stresses that the grant is of importance to her, way beyond financing her research.
«Such a prestigious grant is a door opener. Not only are other academics ready to cooperate with a person with an ERC grant, but also it boosts one’s professional confidence. Having pocketed an ERC I do believe I will have the confidence to express my professional views with more muscle.
Please find our profile interview with Professor Muriaas: Politics as profession